Effects of Colonialism on India De-Industrialization During 18th Century.

The word De-industrialization means the destruction of traditional Indian industries due to colonialism. During the 18th century, the Indian products were prized as valuable item of commerce and during this period Indian artisans were in a good bargaining position.

But after 1765, the Britisher’s established their hegemony in some regions like Bengal which allowed them to become monopolist in the market. And this monopoly leds the excessive exploitation of Indian artisans which destroyed the possibility of improvement of Indian industries.

And this period was period of industrialization in England which wiped out all the market for Indian product. Not only the export market of the Indian artisans were taken away by the foreign factories, but the home market began to be invaded by imported factory products.

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This is the process which has been called de-industrialization since it is the reverse of the process of industrialization.

There is debate among the historians regarding the questions of de-industrialization in India during 19th century. Ramesh C. Dull and Madan Mohan Malviya used the statistics of import to prove their point.

They showed that the import of cloth in Manchester increased in value from 96 lakh sterling in 1860 to 27 crore sterling in 1900.

However, Moris D. Morris argues that under Pax-Britanica the population increased; the per capita income increased, and the sale of cloth increased due to consumption habits and thus it was possible for Indian to buy more foreign cloth, leaving the Indian market in effected, but this view is unacceptable due to lack of evidence.

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However, recent economic historians like Sarda Raju, N.K. Sinha, A.V. Raman Rao, etc. supported the thesis of de-industrialization. While Thorner does not show any evidence of de-industrialization.

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